Burden of Genius excerpts

Mar 29, 2018

One of a few sequences we produced for the film “Burden of Genius.”

This documentary explores the life of Dr. Thomas Starzl, a man many call the greatest surgeon of the 20th century and “the father of modern transplantation.”

In 1967, Dr. Starzl stunned the world with the first successful liver transplantation.

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Attacking pathogens with biodefense technology

Feb 22, 2022

Animation created for the Synexis BioDefense System, a cutting-edge device that converts naturally occurring oxygen and humidity in the air to Dry Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2), otherwise known as DHP™.

This unique molecule works continuously to attack the mold, bacteria and viruses (including SARS-CoV-2) that hide in any type of indoor space.

Our job was to visualize the breakdown and conversion of particles to be converted into DHP, as well as show how DHP molecules are drawn to and destroy various types of viruses, bacteria and mold.

We collaborated closely with our client regarding how the DHP engages with (and destroys) each kind of pathogen, as well as behavior of subatomic particles in the breakdown-and-conversion process inside the catalyst space.

For the complete video, visit synexis.com

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Let the phlegm fly!

Jul 08, 2018

Micro-landscape view of respiratory cells, an accumulating layer of mucus, and Bordetella pertussis bacteria releasing toxins.

A coughing event is occurring here, displacing mucus, the bacteria, and debris.

Also known as whooping cough, pertussis is a highly contagious airborne disease that spreads simply through the coughs and sneezes of an infected person.

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mAb targeting multiple myeloma

Feb 22, 2022

Sequence from 5-minute MOA that provides insight and details for a monoclonal antibody (mAb) designed to induce programmed tumor cell death (apoptosis) and immunomodulatory activity.

For this mechanism of action video, our task was to create a science story that would depict several key features: how the mAb finds and binds to myeloma cells and exposes them for elimination, how it boosts cells of the immune system, and how this targeted immunotherapy can kill myeloma cells directly.

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Fungal infection in the blood

Jul 28, 2018

A breach in the skin (from a catheter) has led to an invasion of the bloodstream and profuse growth of the fungus.

Animation created for a closer look at Candida auris — the first identified multidrug-resistant fungus. Injury to cutaneous barriers by catheters allows yeast and fungi to invade deeper structures and enter the bloodstream.

We are honored and thrilled to have this artwork featured on the cover of this year’s Medical Illustration Sourcebook (30th ed).

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CAR T-cell animation

A CAR T-cell therapy targeting B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)

Apr 21, 2022

A few selected segments from a 6-minute animation created for a first-in-class B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed personalized immunotherapy called chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy.

In this CAR T therapy, the T cells are engineered to target a protein called BCMA, which is found in abundance on multiple myeloma cells, but is absent from nearly all normal cells.

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New sensor technology that measures glucose levels in diabetes

Dec 14, 2018

Excerpt from animation elaborating on the science behind a new sensor technology that measures glucose levels in diabetes. The benefit of the device: no daily finger prick, and testing of glucose levels in a less painful and more efficient manner. Pretty cool.

In this sequence, we zoom down to the surface of the flexible filament to get a closer look at the micro cross-linked polymer matrix environment. As the camera travels through the matrix, glucose molecules can be seen landing, leading to signaling down the length of the cross-linked polymer chain, and reaching the floor of the sensor electrode.

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Fat cell enlargement & type 2 diabetes

Apr 22, 2022

Fat cell enlargement in obesity is related to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

In this sequence, we travel into the visceral fat and see an active environment – teeming with overstressed, damaged fat cells, vasculature, and immune cells.

Stress on these hypertrophic adipocytes results in lipid spillover (fatty acid release) into the circulation, as well as proinflammatory cytokine release and immune cell recruitment.

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The Widespread Effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Jul 11, 2019

2.5 minute animation that explores the multiple factors contributing to joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis and the role of IL-6, one of the most abundant multifunctional cytokines in the synovial fluid of patients with RA.

IL-6 is a key driver of articular and systemic manifestations and major player in inflammation, immunity, and disease.

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Cytotoxic T cells targeting tumor cells | immunotherapy animation

May 03, 2022

A close-up fly-through of tumor cells, and the arrival of cytotoxic t cells intent on eradicating them. Activation and proliferation of cytotoxic T cells are critical for immune-mediated tumor destruction.

A key challenge we were given for this sequence: develop a rendering approach that mimics infrared thermal microscopy imaging techniques.

Researchers have been making advancements in understanding the thermal behavior of cells – for example, the ability to read the signatures of tumor cells due to their higher metabolism – in order to be used alongside existing histological analysis methods.

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11-foot-tall interactive beating heart installation

Jul 30, 2019

Large-scale, interactive installation featuring a beating heart and flow simulation of the body’s circulatory system.

The heartbeat and blood flow respond interactively to visitors in the facility: as more people enter the University Center, the heart rate elevates; as they leave, the heartbeat lowers. 

Created in the visual style of an MRI, the 11-foot-tall, 8-foot-wide installation serves as a living welcome to visitors of the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center.

This animation features a few of the sequences we produced for the final piece, including the particle simulations of blood pressure and flow.

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Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) | animation

May 16, 2022

A few selected sequences we produced for a recent Medscape CME / ABIM MOC / CE symposium titled NASH 101: What You Need to Know Now

The full 2.5- minute animation was developed to be played as a visual aid when the moderator discussed epidemiology and pathogenesis.

We were asked to conceptualize and develop this visual science story. It provides insight into the pathophysiology of NAFLD and NASH, including the role of fatty acids, insulin resistance, and steatosis, as well as mitochondrial dysfunction, excess ROS production, and the stress put on the endoplasmic reticulum inside ballooning hepatocytes. 

In addition, we depicted key attributes of the progression of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) including bloated hepatocytes and the fat droplets accumulating inside, displaced cell organelles, lobular inflammation, and the scarring (fibrosis) that occurs as collagen fibers fill the spaces once cell death occurs.

In the last few years, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) have become the most common causes of chronic liver disease worldwide. This epidemic is starting to parallel the epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

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The promise of antibody drug conjugates

Jul 02, 2020
What if instead of using traditional chemotherapy, antibodies could deliver a drug payload directly to tumor cells — and spare the normal cells?
In this sequence, antibody-drug conjugates can be seen here in the airway, descending down to cancerous epithelial cells and binding to specific antigens only found on targeted cells.
Monoclonal antibody technologies continue to evolve and hold great promise for the treatment of a wide number of diseases.

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Sickle cell vaso-occlusion

Nov 02, 2020

Here inside this blood vessel, the circulation of red blood cells is obstructed by sickled red blood cells aggregating, sticking together, and leading to an event known as a vaso-occlusive crisis — a central characteristic of sickle cell disease (SCD)

As we zoom out, we are able to see more damage being done in other microvessels.

Sickled red blood cells promote inflammation, obstruct the vasculature, injure the endothelium, and may lead to ischemic damage in vital organs.

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The endocannabinoid system (ECS)

Jan 15, 2021

1.5-minute animation created for CME event. 

Our assignment included the development of the science story and creation of key events that would inform and educate viewers on the physiologic functions associated with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the role of CB1 retrograde signaling, as well as the enzymes involved in the degradation of endocannabinoids.

We had the pleasure and honor of collaborating closely with the speaker of this event; she is also noted for her discovery of the CB1 receptor for cannabinoid agonists.

The target audience included neurologists, primary care physicians, and pediatricians.

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Targeting DNA methylation

Mar 04, 2021

Sequence from project that provides insight on the role aberrant DNA methylation has in the abnormalities responsible for cancer cell growth, especially hematological malignancies such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

In this sequence, we begin with a view of “normal” DNA methylation, and then change to a view of hypermethylation underway.

Eventually, decitabine – a hypomethylating agent – can be seen moving into place and blocking DNA methyltransferase (DNMT), leading to the degradation of DNMT and eventual hypomethylation.

Targeting DNA methylation with DNA hypomethylating agents (HMAs) acts to reprogram tumor cells to a more normal-like state.

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sleep animation

The healing power of sleep

May 17, 2021

Sequence from immersive 1.5-minute 360° animation where we explore the benefits of sleep.

Here within the neural microspace of the brain, we depict the “cleansing system” of the brain: the glymphatic system. 

Just like the rest of your body, the brain accumulates waste. Recent discoveries have shown that cerebral spinal fluid “flushes” debris and metabolic toxins out of the neural microspace during the deep sleep phase. 

We also watch the heart beating (and lungs breathing) inside the chest cavity and discuss the role of sleep in reducing your risk for cardiovascular diseases.

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4D Theater “Ride the Rails” Experience

Jul 11, 2017

A few selected segments from an 8-minute animation produced specially for client’s trade show “4D Multisensory” installation.

The 3D interactive ride was featured at the ATS International Conference, the home of pulmonary, critical care and sleep professionals. Attendees experienced a stereoscopic, 3D monorail-style journey through two “branded” cities, learning more about two different patient therapies for COPD.

The XD Theater Experience is a self-contained, motion-simulated, stereoscopic 3D interactive ride often implemented for high-end, media-based trade show attractions.

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Medications for type 2 diabetes

Jan 12, 2022

Patient education animations created for WebMD that explore common medications for type 2 diabetes.

Because each treatment works in a unique way, our task was to bring three medications to life, creating an easy-to-understand mechanism of action story for each science story.

The three medications highlighted on the WebMD website: Metformin, Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 (DPP-4), and SGLT2 Inhibitors. 

These are selected segments from the larger productions.

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New hybrid promotional reel

Nov 01, 2017

We are excited to release our new demo reel!

A collection of some of our favorite and latest work, featuring segments from medical animation projects we have produced over the past couple of years.

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